You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another. — C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves

If choosing to lose inside your marriage relationship makes you feel a little nervous—if second place isn’t natural for you—I have great news: Jesus was the first to love this way.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;  rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. …  he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death … (Philippians 2:5-8)

Jesus was in His very nature God. Can we say “winning”? There is no first before God. He’s it. The Alpha.

But Jesus didn’t consider winning the ultimate goal—being first was not His primary objective. Instead, He made himself nothing, chose nothing, and took on the very nature of a servant. Then He gave us to each other and asked that we do the same.

The Gospel of Mark tells us the disciples were walking and talking on the road to Capernaum. When asked about their conversation, they admitted to arguing over who was the greatest—who was winning — who was first in Jesus’ book.

Jesus sits down and teaches them a lesson for the ages: “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35).

This is the way of Jesus, and this is the Jesus who lives in us. This is how He wants to love through us! Are you willing to let Him?

If you’re having a hard time imagining yourself choosing to lose in your marriage, just remember, Jesus did it for His bride the Church. Because He sent His Spirit to love through us, you can do the same for your bride or groom.

Jesus, I accept the invitation to let You love through me in a way that lets my spouse win. You who were first chose to be last. I who should be last will not fight to be first. Service and humility are empty unless rooted in a desire for those I love and those I serve to know You. May I choose this most passionately inside my marriage. May I depend on You to fully do it through me. Amen.